UXB – talking to Fiona – about the little things

One of the treats of working here at Spring is having interesting neighbours. Fiona Blades runs Mesh a sister research agency in the same office. And Fiona is a revelation to swap stories with. Mesh track brands using mobile phones. Much more reliable than asking people to recall what advertising they have seen over the last week or even month. Because they can capture their impressions as they go using their phones – taking pictures if necessary.

Fiona was talking about some of the less predictable communications which it is now possible to track. They can pick up on messages on the sides of the lorries carrying the products. Able to even identify the impact of the company being involved in a court case and how that was reported in the papers. Which felt to me like an unexploded bomb waiting to go off. Because 99% of brand tracking is tracking the easy obvious stuff. TV commercials where the audience is already metered on BARB and the media spend recorded and audited. Press ads which are collected. This is kid stuff. What is dynamite is being able to track the smaller subtler channels which are much more important than they used to be because many people are more likely to see the vans than the press ads. So what Mesh measure isn't just more accurate because the mobiles are used in context. What they are measuring is more influential.

Every brand to promote itself uses paid for assets like advertising, earned assets like word of mouth, and owned assets like their own packaging and the shelves on which the products are displayed. Only measuring paid for assets is daft because it massively undervalues the other two which are cheaper to generate and are more influential. The unexploded bomb of tracking only paid for assets is going to blow any time. It just doesn't make sense any more.

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